"Other issues include lack of professional development, lack of career
advancement and lack of respect for the profession from the public."I've been teaching high school for over 10 years and I've
never met a teacher who felt we don't get enough professional development.
In fact, it's shoved down our throats and it has to be done when we are not
standing in front of our students (days when the public thinks we aren't
working).Lack of respect is definitely a significant issue.
Teachers are told by their superiors how they are valued but then their
decisions are overridden.
We make all kinds of excuses for lack of money. We hear that if we grow the
economy it will mean more money for education and yet that never happens. We
give tax incentives to new companies who come in taking money out of school
coffers. Governor Huntsman gave Utahn's most specifically the wealthy a
huge tax cut during his time in office, which move Utahns tax contributions for
education from one of the highest in the nation to one of the lowest in the
nation. We cannot have more kids in the system than other states, contribute
less in taxes than all but 15 states, and have enough money to properly fund
education. Yes there are other things than teacher salaries that cause teachers
to leave, but a significant increase in salary would go a long way to solving
problems. It would make some of those other issues more bearable. The teacher
shortage isn't going away, and the more time we waste trying to figure out
how to solve it without investing money into teachers is only going to make it
exponentially worse. It is time to hold the legislature accountable in the
We cannot compare Utah to Wyoming or any other state because they are simply not
like us. No other state adds one or two new high schools throughout the state
every year just to keep up. And for every high school there is probably several
elementary's and junior highs.The reason that new businesses move to
Utah is because of the potential employees that other states do not have. We
have kids. Because we have so many kids that makes funding more for teachers
very hard. There is not a simple answer to this catch 22.
I've been teaching middle school for a few years now, but this will
probably be my last year. Teachers are expected to do too much and students are
expected to do too little. Why stay in a profession where I am just being
underpaid for being treated the way I am being treated? I may come back after a
few years to try to teach high school (where the kids are usually at least
slightly better), but by that time I'd probably be taking a pay cut to do
I sympathize with the people who posted, but I find the article simply
regurgitates the same, tired complaints that educators make. Large class sizes
would be difficult. Lack of parental support is very destructive. Teaching is
more art than science and not everyone is cut out for it. Instead of making
teachers accountable for the home lives of their students over which they have
no control, I think we should withhold the child tax deduction from parents
whose kids are unruly. But here are some points I don't think
teachers understand. Many people with college degrees in most fields put many
unpaid hours, hoping it advances their careers but with no guarantee that it
will. To Spellman 789, you may get a paycheck all year but you're not
working all year. Most of us non-teachers only get a 2- week vacation. The
article doesn't indicate what additional respect would look like, and thus
the assertion that "it's more than money" is just too elusive for
implementation. Bottom line: you can't have the protection of
a union and enjoy the pay commensurate of non-educational professionals without
enduring a far more competitive environment.
I quit teaching after 25 years because the demands are so high. If I had under
30 kids in my 4th grade class, I was lucky. I quit when they made the change to
the pension plan, as I would be making less than I made in the past. I
desperately miss my students. I wish I could still be in the classroom. It was
all too much, so I retired early. I have a math endorsement, which allows me to
teach junior high math. I was going to teach it, but I walked into one of our
local junior highs and heard such terrible language, I gave up the idea. I had a
lot of really good parents in my area, so I was blessed in that area of my job.
Wish I could go back, but it has gotten even more demanding. Bummer.
"...insufficient pay, rapidly changing and growing demands, and lack of
support and mentorship." All legitimate reasons for teacher
dissatisfaction. My daughter has 34 3rd-graders, five of whom are
incredibly challenging. The only classroom aide helps all teachers in the grade
with papers (copying and the like) but provides no classroom assistance.
Several of the five disruptive students were referred to the principal's
office, parents called, children "talked to." Thankfully these parents
are supportive of the teacher and their children are slightly better. Parents
of the other three refuse to believe their child could cause a problem. The
parents' disrespect of the teacher transfers to the students.If
the parents were held accountable for their children's disruptive behavior,
perhaps the teachers could spend time teaching and not babysitting. Teachers are often required to teach life skills like honesty, respect,
initiative, cleanliness, etc. that should be taught at home.
Twenty-three students? That would be a dream class! At my school, we have 29-32
students per class in elementary school. I currently work at least 2 1/2 - 3
hours per day without pay. My class has a lot of behavior problems, and some
parents are very critical. Others are very supportive. Parents, your support
would go a long way.
I grew up in Utah, went to college in Utah, and thought about teaching in Utah
until I learned that I would qualify for government assistance as a first year
teacher. pretty pathetic if you ask me. Why stay in a state that has some of
the largest classroom sizes and the lowest pay? I got a job in Wyoming teaching
at a high school of about 1000 students and my pay is 40% higher and my
classroom sizes are around 20. Teaching is a very rewarding job but
how much would I be able to concentrate on the needs of my students and creating
lessons that are engaging and meaningful if I have to get off work and go to my
second job just to keep my family afloat. I don't know how the teachers in
Utah do it. It's sad really. Utah will end up getting what it
pays for. I feel the reason why the test scores in Utah are still high is not
because of the amazing learning environment provided by the state but because on
average the parents tend to take a more active roll in their children's
education and push the importance of education.
The problem with some people out there saying that teachers who make 37K for 9
months of teaching equates to them making $48K for 12 months really is flawed.
Most teachers spread that $37K, or whatever their salary, over the 12 months so
they are still getting a paycheck in the summer. Most do end up getting a
summer job, or even second job, but hey, how can you not in this profession.
Having a mother and mother-in-law who taught junior high and high school and
seeing all the work they put in, it is quite possible they put in about as many
unpaid work hours as paid work hours.
This is the best article about the teacher shortage I've seen. Our teacher
shortage is about low pay, but it is more about respecting the profession.
Teaching is a tough job, it is very demanding. To have 36 hormone raging
teenagers in your room with all their differences and your job is to engage each
in learning. That's tough, and most are doing a great job of it! On top of
that you become attached to the little buggers, and many of their tough lives
break your heart. It isn't something just anyone can walk off the street
and do. I taught for four years in a junior high, before that I've
worked as a farm hand picking fruit and later worked construction while going to
college. I was more physically drained from teaching then I ever was in my
other jobs. I luckily found greener pastures where I am respected and well paid
and can afford to raise my family. I respect the heck out of my former
colleagues and am really grateful for the wonderful teachers who are teaching my
children. Everyone should take a minute and thank a teacher, it would mean the
world to them.